The US has a national debt proportionally similar to that of France or Germany and about 50% of Japan’s. Some of the US debt is owed to its corporations and citizens while some of it is owed to foreign entities. China has a large trade surplus with the US and increasingly owns a goodly share of the US debt. China, by virtue of its low paid workforce, exports goods and services to the US that enhance the US citizen's standard of living. The US pays for the low priced products with the US dollar. The Chinese can distribute, save, or invest the dollars as they see fit. Some posters, the US haters such as TSM find much enjoyment in the fact that China owns a large amount of US debt. Why is the US debt seen as a negative for the US and a positive for China? In a high school economic class we might be taught that owing money is a bad thing. Is that really true? .